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Scientific Method in Ptolemy's Harmonics

Scientific Method in Ptolemy's Harmonics

$103.00 (C)

  • Date Published: January 2001
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521553728

$ 103.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This book examines, for the first time, the scientific procedures devised by Ptolemy (second century AD) for investigating the structures underlying musical melody, a project that he conceived as closely related to astronomy. Ptolemy's account of his methods is unusually explicit, and he pursues them faithfully. By providing an analysis of Ptolemy's sophisticated theoretical apparatus, his strategies for integrating theory with observation, and his meticulous instructions for the design and conduct of experimental tests, the book offers historians of science a new starting-point for wider studies of ancient scientific method.

    • A full-scale study of the scientific method proposed and exemplified in this crucial text
    • The book aims to present the treatise as a work of central importance for the understanding of Greek conceptions of science and scientific procedure
    • Aims to provide students of Greek musicology with alternate perspectives on a fundamental text
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "For two decades now Andrew Barker has brought to the study of Ancient Greek music and musicology a uniquely philosophical perspective, which he applies very effectively to this current project....There is not one uninteresting page." Classical World

    " important contribution to a largely unexplored field." Religious Studies Review

    "...dedicated students of the ancient musical science and scientific method will probably find it an important contribution to a largely unexplored field." Religious Studies Review

    "Beautifully produced and a pleasure to hold." Classical Bulletin

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2001
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521553728
    • length: 290 pages
    • dimensions: 236 x 159 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.6kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Reason and perception
    3. Pitch and quantity
    4. The ratios of the concords: (1) the Pythagoreans
    5. The ratios of the concords: (2) Ptolemy's hupotheseis
    6. Critique of Aristoxenian principles and conclusions
    7. Ptolemy on the harmonic divisions of his predecessors
    8. Melodic intervals: hupotheseis, derivations and adjustments
    9. Larger systems: modulations in music and in method
    10. The instruments
    11. The tests
    12. Harmonics in a wider perspective

  • Author

    Andrew Barker, University of Birmingham

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